Faculty Senate Meets

Posted: October 8, 2010 at 1:04 am, Last Updated: October 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm

By Robin Herron

In response to a request from a Board of Visitors (BOV) member for a list of faculty concerns that the BOV could address, the faculty representatives to the BOV developed a report and presented it at the Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 6.

Among the concerns were:

  • Global initiatives (rationale and cost)
  • Growth issues (enrollment impact on faculty, students and staff)
  • Space issues (classroom and technology needs)
  • Compensation (overall, inequities, graduate assistants)

Current faculty representatives to the BOV are Peter Pober, faculty representative (ex officio as chair of the Faculty Senate), and committee representatives Richard Coffinberger, Mark Houck, Janette Muir and Toni Michelle-Travis. Phillip Buchanan serves as faculty committee liaison. Faculty representatives to the BOV are nonvoting.

The group plans to forward the suggestions to the BOV for its consideration.

At its meeting, the senate also passed a resolution in support of making the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution a school within the university. This change must be approved by the BOV and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Announcements at the meeting included the following:

  • The BOV has asked for potential alternatives for increasing faculty compensation that do not involve tuition increases. Ideas can be forwarded to June Tangney, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
  • The provost is forming a task force to examine possible ways to lessen the burden of regulations and paperwork on faculty. Nominations for task force members can be forwarded to Jim Bennett, chair of the Nominations Committee.

The senate heard reports from:

  • Shirley Travis, dean of the School of Health and Human Services, who reported on the school’s initiatives.
  • Corey Jackson, director of the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, and Brian Walther, senior associate university counsel, who presented a revised policy regarding consensual relationships between faculty members and students.
  • Kris Smith, associate provost of institutional research and reporting, who reported on the online course evaluations for spring 2010. The pilot program will continue this semester.
  • Kim Eby, associate provost for faculty development and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, and Bethany Usher, associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, who gave an update on the Quality Enhancement Plan. The plan is available for review at qep.gmu.edu.
  • Linda Harber, associate vice president for human resources and payroll, who reported that forms related to the December bonus, for one-time deferrals related to 403(b) and 457 plans, are available on the HR website. The forms are due by Nov. 1.

For more details on Faculty Senate activities, see the website.

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